WNC Launches Fire Science Program for Fall 2022 Semester

Western Nevada College Emergency Medical Services and Paramedic Program Coordinator Terry Mendez, center, is helping the college introduce the new Fire Science Program in the fall.

Courtesy Steve Yingling, Western Nevada College

Aspiring and current firefighters can count on Western Nevada College to make their career choice more rewarding.

WNC is fast becoming a higher learning institution where individuals pursuing firefighting as their profession or firefighters looking to advance their career can receive the necessary education to make it happen.

In March, the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents approved an Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science Technology program that will go along nicely with training and certification preparation that the college offers through its Paramedicine program. The Fire Science program still needs final approval from NSHE, but is scheduled to debut in the fall.


“We are very excited to provide this training to our region and are thankful to all our partnering agencies for their support and dedication to the future of our community,” said WNC Emergency Medical Services and Paramedic Program Coordinator Terry Mendez.

Most local and regional fire agencies encourage their firefighters to earn dual certifications so they’ll be able to provide more emergency services when injuries necessitating medical attention arise. Furthermore, they’ll earn more money if they have firefighting and paramedic certifications.

“I have a job offer now contingent on my completion of the fire academy and will have earned a spot as a firefighter/paramedic,” said Tyler Schellhammer, a graduate of WNC’s Paramedicine program in February. “I believe that I have just found my career path and plan on going as far as I can with my new skill set.”

Once WNC’s fire science program is established and running, it will serve as a direct pipeline for prospective recruits for the Capital City Regional Fire Academy. Located in Carson City, the Capital City Regional Fire Academy is the largest training program in Northern Nevada. The recruits train for 12 weeks to become certified employees at a fire agency.

Earlier this spring, the Carson City Fire Department repurposed one of its fire engines to support WNC’s new fire science program. It will allow students to become familiar with the engine’s utility.

WNC’s Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science Technology degree is designed for individuals interested in a career or advancement in the fire service profession. The purpose of this program is to prepare competent entry-level firefighters and provide access to education for current fire service personnel advancement within the fire service profession. The courses follow the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) curriculum.

Some of the courses that will be offered include Fire Behavior and Combustion, Basic Wildland Firefighting, Hazardous Materials Chemistry, Fire Protection Systems, Internship in Firefighting, Principles of Emergency Services, and more.

For more information, contact Ellie Dutton at

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